He'll never follow it but what the hell.  Background... the instant that I heard what his new name was going to be, I thought of the movie clip I reference below.

Crossposted from letreasonreign


In most matters (with one exception I will get to), here’s my advice, one moving picture worth a thousand words:

Lighten up on your priests.  Let them marry.  (You are willing to let Anglicans who cross over be married, so clearly there isn’t a real issue of dogma involved here.)

Lighten up on women and allow them to be priests.   That is if any actually want to be.  The way you’ve treated women in your church, I can’t imagine why they would.

Lighten up on homosexuals.  Why out of the huge raft of Levitican law that mostly got swept under the rug by Jesus and St. Paul, does that one verse about homosexuality stand?  You’re allowed to eat shellfish and wear blended fabrics.  Why is this rule the one you can’t claim Jesus superseded?

Lighten up and allow birth control.  I realize that to you abortion is a murder, plain and simple, and I won’t insult the intelligence of anyone reading this expecting you to condone something you consider to be murder.  But what is the reason not to prevent conception from happening in the first place?  And in a continent riddled with AIDS like Africa is, what’s the rationale for trying to convince people not to use condoms?

On these issues and many others, my advice is to Lighten up, Francis.

But there is one issue I don’t want you to lighten up on.  The Vatican has been entirely too light on this issue for decades, if not centuries.  And it needs to crack down on it with the weight of 2000 years of history.

And that’s pedophiliac clerics.  Instead of defrocking them and handing them over to the civil authorities, you transfer them to another parish–another group of young boys–or even whisk them out of the country.  I’m told Nunavut, Canada, is your North American dumping ground for troublesome altar-boy-buggering priests.  Were I Catholic and in Nunavut for the weekend… I’d skip Mass.  Bishops and cardinals are involved in covering this up.  It’d be far worse, after all, for the Catholic Church to get egg on its face than for justice to be done.

But this is all too typical, a church whose priorities and teachings are inverted almost every single time, hard core on the things that one should be light on, and utterly worthless at attacking truly despicable behavior.

The only thing you haven’t got totally wrong is evolution and an old universe; you are all in favor of actual science from time to time, certainly far more than the protestant fundamentalists we have here in the United States.  But I suppose you could flip on this and give the Catholic Church a perfect–perfectly awful– record on everything.

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Comment by SteveInCO on March 15, 2013 at 6:52pm

Oh the other one is forms of birth control that occur before conception.   (Which might mean condoms would be OK but the pill, not OK.)

Comment by SteveInCO on March 15, 2013 at 6:51pm

The one doctrine I can maybe imagine them budging on is priestly celibacy.  I am no expert by any means but I haven't figured out how on earth (?) they "reasoned" their way to that one.  Most Xian sects do not have this restriction.

Anyhow, yeah the chances that anyone above the level of priest in the catholic heirarchy will ever read my post is vanishingly small, but it was a fun little rant, and after I remembered "Lighten Up Francis" from Stripes, I simply could not resist.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 15, 2013 at 7:39am

In the immortal lyrics of the Beach Boys, "Wouldn't it be nice?"

Problem is, they won't lighten up, certainly not on fundamental doctrinal issues.  That's supposed to be sacrosanct and unchangeable, anyway.  These guys aren't like Rob Portman, who can have something personal occur in their lives to change their minds.  They are about nothing but the church, its diktat, its dogma and their self-perceived imperative to superimpose that on the world's population.  I expect no give at all on homosexuality or women in the priesthood.  That would be asking way too much.

Now Francis MIGHT take firmer action on the whole child abuse business, especially since he hasn't been that closely associated with it (or at least, not to my knowledge).  One can hope that his sensibilities might be so enraged at this travesty that he is willing to take unilateral and sweeping action to deal with this matter, and maybe even do so transparent to the public!  He might even pull back on the extravagant pageants and rituals which have to this point been an automatic part of catholic pomp and circumstance.  This is, after all, the guy who had a modest apartment and rode the bus to work.

But his positions on homosexuality, on abortion, on women, and other sore points are already known and publicly stated quantities.  To be at variance with any of these issues would be a far greater stunner than Rob Portman's switching sides in the gay marriage debate.

There may be a mild form of evolution under Jorge's leadership.  I expect no revolution.

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